Five Great Meal Ideas That Make Life Easier
We all know that the healthiest meals are what we prepare ourselves from whole ingredients, but when you've been working late, when you're the only one who can drive the kids to the hockey rink (or the dog to the vet), when you don't have time to focus on food preparation and you don't want to leave a pile of dishes in the sink for when you get back—we do our best to stock choices that you can feel good about. The team at Kardish has compiled a list of five foods that are easy, for when life isn't.
1. Need a Quick, Dairy-Free Breakfast?
Looking for something to spread on a bagel, but can't stomach dairy? According to a national survey from 2013, 16% of Canadians report being lactose intolerant, and that percentage is even higher among women and many other groups of Canadians. Zengarry Cashew Cheese is not only dairy-free, it's rich, creamy, and as spreadable as cream cheese. It's also a local product, made only about an hour away from Ottawa using raw organic cashews and few added ingredients.
The best part is Zengarry Cashew Cheese isn't limited to just one or two non-dairy options, that you might see on big box store shelves. On our shelves you can find flavours that range from Gruyère Style, to Raw Brie, Smokey Jalapeño, Garlic & Fine Herbs, as well as Sun Dried Tomato and Basil. These dairy-free cheeses can be used in pasta sauces, layered bean dips, and quesadillas, but when you need to dash out of bed and eat something before your day starts, they make excellent savoury spreads. Check out zengarry.com for dozens of recipe ideas.
2. Need a quick side dish?
Easy side dishes come in handy when you try a new recipe, but find that there's not quite enough for a satisfying meal. One healthy option is GoGo Quinoa's ready to cook sides. From their 5 grain medley to vegan mushroom soup, these options are vegan-friendly, gluten-free, are certified organic, and are prepared in St Laurent, Quebec. When you are in a pinch, GoGo Quinoa’s spicy and well-seasoned sides take only 15 minutes to prepare.
Also, quinoa may be even better for you than you thought! Along with tofu and sushi, the New York Times recently listed it as a food that experts are more likely to consider healthy, when compared to opinion from the general public.
3. Need a meat-free option,
but are tired of veggie burgers?
Looking for a meat-free meal that isn't a veggie burger? Gardein is a Canadian company (based out of British Columbia) with the goal of making healthy "fast food" out of vegetables. Kardish carries a variety of Gardein's entrees, including Golden Fishless Filets and Mandarin Crispy Chikn, but if you have a picky eater at your table, we have never once seen someone turn down their 7-Grain Crispy Tenders.
Oh, and they also make great veggie burgers.
4. Need just a few greens in a recipe?
When you think of your worst experiences with frozen vegetables, do you picture shrivelled lima beans, freezer burnt broccoli, limp peppers, and water chestnuts that smell like bad compost? It can be hard to believe, but frozen vegetables can be more nutritious than their "fresh" counterparts that have been shipped long distances, since vitamins break down and degrade over time. But all of that depends on how fresh the vegetables were before they were frozen.
Cookin' Greens are made with Ontario-grown dark-leafy greens, which were harvested in their prime and frozen fresh within hours. If you don't have experience preparing kale, collards, rapini, mustard greens, or artichoke hearts, Cookin' Greens maintains a helpful list of recipes on their website. You can also saute the greens with garlic and a splash of olive oil, or just toss them into pasta sauce or stir fry.
I find that Cookin' Greens are most useful when you don't have time to visit the farmer's market or only need a handful of greens in a recipe. You may notice that spinach wilts in your fridge in less than five days--and often much less than five days. In your freezer, the greens can be kept fresh for up to a year. With Cookin' Greens you can eat fresher, healthier meals, without worrying about spoilage.
5. Need a crowd-pleaser, fast?
When all else fails, there's pizza. Here are two highlights that can make dinner quick and easy, even when you have guests with multiple allergies:
Udi's Bakery makes Gluten-Free Pizza with a brown rice and tapioca-based crust, which is suitable for those with celiac disease. In terms of toppings, Kardish carries the Pepperoni, Three Cheese, Margherita, and Spinach & Feta varieties, as well as 2-Packs of Udi's Bakery's 9-inch pizza crusts, which make it easy to bake a gluten-free pizza with any toppings you want.
If you have multiple food allergies and dietary restrictions at your table, you may not have known that Daiya's deliciously dairy-free pizzas are also free of gluten, peanut, eggs, meat, and soy. (Beyond Meat's Italian Sausage, which Daiya uses in their Supreme pizza, is made with pea protein isolate.) Look for Daiya's Cheeze Lovers, Margherita, Fire Roasted Vegetable, Mushroom & Garlic, and soy-free Supreme pizzas in our freezers.
We hope that our suggestions can make mealtimes a little easier for you. If you have advice for an easy meal, side, or cooking tip, and would like to share it with our community, please get in touch with us on on Facebook,Twitter, or in the comments below.